More than half--36.7 billion (with a b!)--of these are overweight. And nearly 60 percent--43.2 billion--of these are overweight.*
Any idea what these are? Did you guess men and women? Boys and girls? Office workers and stay-at-home moms? Would you believe the answers are dogs and cats?!
When pet obesity is at epidemic proportions, that really says something about the human population, don't you think?
This reminds me of an anonymous quote I had in my office a few years ago: "If your dog is fat, you're not getting enough exercise." (The irony in this is that my dog is, in fact, fat! But I attribute that to his breed--a squatty French bulldog, his bad back, short snout, constant treats from my mother, and the fact that the poor ol' guy only has one eye! Uh-oh. Did I just make excuses for why he's not exercising?!)
Anyway, now that we know how many fat furry friends we have, let's take a look at the human statistics, courtesy of the National Academy of Sports Medicine:
As you might expect, both humans and animals suffer similar consequences from being overweight and obese: joint pain, diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, shortened life expectancy and decreased quality of life.
So, what do we do about it? Use those beloved pets as motivation! Listen, I've got some friends who adore their fur-babies as much (or more?!) than I love my own children, so for the love of Fido and Fifi, get moving and eat the right stuff (clean, lean and green!)!
Try these exercises you can do with your pet, courtesy of Hillspet.com/weight-management:
*2012 Pet Study for the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
BUSINESS PLUG: If you're in the greater Raleigh/Cary/Garner area of North Carolina, the best health center for your pet is Carolina Ranch Animal Hospital and Resort (http://www.carolinaranchpets.com/). They'll get plenty of exercise during the daily "Buckaroo Roundup"!
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I am not a registered dietitian, nor a medical professional. My blog is a representation of my views and experiences, which are not intended as medical advice. While I am a certified personal trainer, descriptions of things I eat and exercises I perform may not be suitable for everyone. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.